Friday, July 31, 2009

Can you spare a second?

Good morning! I have a post in the works (yes, it takes me days lol) but I wanted to ask a favor.

I "met" Bonnie (totally one-sided being she has no clue who I am) in January. Her husband had just passed away on January 5th very unexpectedly, leaving behind his beautiful wife, a sweet almost-2 year old little girl named Caroline , and a baby on the way that only Thomas & Bonnie knew about.

On his way to work as a teacher, Thomas was in a fatal car accident. And today is their 5th wedding anniversary. I can't imagine what Bonnie is going through and I'm praying for her. Could you please do the same? But also, can you drop her a line and show her some support? I am sure it would mean the world to her.

Thank you so so much.

*I wanted to post a photo of Bonnie & Thomas, but I wasn't sure if that was okay. I've "borrowed" photos from websites before but now I realize that's probably stealing. LOL Sorry!*

Monday, July 27, 2009

I talk a lot. To myself. *And prayer request!!* *UPDATED*

****This is very very urgent. Please please drop what you are doing and pray for Stellan. Most of you know all about little Stellan, so just check out if you don't. He is not doing well at all this morning and is being airlifted to Boston as I type this. Please pray like crazy!! You can keep updated on him constantly by checking out his mom Jennifer's Twitter page- she updates often.

But most importantly, pray for this little guy!!!****
My brain has been mush this summer break. It has to be just the combination of the late nights, lack of schedule and all the pool time we've been enjoying. I seriously doubt I'll be able to put together a coherent thought. But hey, everyone loves a train wreck, right? ;)
So a few things going on with us. Not listed in order of interestingness. Because none of them are interesting. Except maybe the last one. 'Cause it's most important.
My baby boy is turning 7 on Tuesday! I am so excited. Well, unless you compare my excitement to his excitement. Because in that case I'm pretty much in a coma.
He's so cute; he woke up this morning and was still SO tired (we had to leave early to head to Big Hunk's baseball game) but he squealed out "only two more days!" when he realized it. We're having a party for him on Saturday and I can honestly say that my kids' birthdays are my favorite time of the year. It is just such a joy celebrating these wonderful little creatures God blessed us with.

Yesterday I had one of the most creepy, frightening moments. It really took me a couple hours to be able to step back and get over it.
There was a man that no one knew at Big Hunk's baseball game Sunday. Of course, this is not uncommon seeing as how we rarely know a single member of the opposing team, and the games are held at high schools and colleges where there are lots of activities: swap meets, tennis, basketball, etc.
Well I gathered from a couple other women there that he was talking the ears off a couple of them, as well as talking lots to a little girl that happened to be nearby. (Note- there were about 5 kids playing with Mikey and none of these women were their mom- they were their aunts, I believe). A few minutes after the girl had come back and had been told by her aunt to not go over their anymore, the man showed up *right* behind me. I was standing behind the bleachers working on the scorebook and he was literally standing no more than a foot behind me when I turned around (we had brought a canopy and it was pretty much the only shade there). Well after a few minutes (and me moving immediately) he starts chatting up my son and his friend (the son of BH's teammate). Asking questions like their names, how old they are, blah blah blah. Really just information that is none of his business.
So then he asks Mikey's friend if he has his baseball glove. When T tells him it's in the car, he tells T to go get it and they'll play catch. I intercepted T and told him (falsely) that his dad had told me he wanted T to stay with me. Ack! I was so freaked out at this point and my heart was pounding. So then he gets nosey, asking Mikey if I was his mom, almost teasing that I was the "voice of reason" and asks Mikey if he wants to play catch with him!! (Augh, I'm getting all worked up just thinking about it.) I try to hint at Mikey that he needs to take off, and I tell him to go into the dugout to help his dad. Of course he doesn't get it and wants nothing to do with that. By this point all the other women had disappeared to another area (trying to escape him) so I try texting Big Hunk to tell him there is a REALLY creepy guy out there. But because I'm impatient I immediately grab T (because I was afraid he was going to walk off with this guy!) and tell him to come with me, and I ran into the dugout to tell BH what was going on. I asked him if he had a spare guy that could come sit with me.
Thankfully BH was sitting out that inning and came and sat with me. Creepy guy proceeded to chat BH up, asking him tons of questions, and I ran off with the kids. *lol* I was just appalled and so freaked out.
It probably doesn't sound all that alarming now that I wrote it out, but my heart was pounding out of my chest and I was just watching each kid like a hawk during all of this- so scared that one of them would walk off with him or move out of my reach. What bothered me is that he wouldn't acknowledge at all that he was making several women uncomfortable and just back off. I'm sorry but even if you have the best of intentions, if you are a strange man and are trying to talk to a woman (or her children) and that woman starts acting standoffish, you need to respect that.
Later in the car when we had time to talk about it, BH even admitted that the guy was creeping him out. I just thank God I was there! T, Mikey's friend, is known to pretty much run around and do what he wants during his dad's games. And who knows- this guy may have been perfectly harmless. But he sent major red flags up, and I tend to be pretty naive unsuspecting of people. He wasn't just asking the boys to play catch- he was persistent and was badgering them- in front of me!. How many young kids do you know that are going to be able to stand up to that and will repeatedly tell an adult "no"?
It was a wake up call, to say the least. My kids have watched the Safe Side video numerous times, and I'm always quizzing them on different scenarios. But it always surprises me when Mikey talks to strangers. In this instance he told me "But Mom, you were there", and he's right. I always tell him that as long as I'm with him, he's okay. But I had to tell him "yes, but you were going to go play catch with him!!!". We made it very clear that he always always needs to ask us, even if it's one of our friends. I thought he knew this.
For the record, T's dad had no idea any of this went on. And even though I explicity told T after this that he cannot talk to strangers and never ever to go off with them, Big Hunk called T's dad and told him what happened. I shudder to think of what could have happened.
So after that heart attack, I move on to Monday- which is really today now since I'm up so late. ;-) There is a wonderful woman name Cindy for whom I would like to ask you to pray. Cindy has been battling cancer for 2 1/2 years, and has recently learned that the cancer has spread to her brain. Our enemy would love for us to believe that this is futile and the end. But we know Cindy is in the hands of the Great Physician!
Though I'm super late letting you know of this, my sweet friend Linny has organized a prayer and fast for Cindy for Monday, July 27. Being this is so late and you may not be able to participate in the fasting, I would strongly urge you to pray pray pray for Cindy today! And drop her a line letting her know you're praying for her. :) You know how we bloggers long for those words of encouragement.
Sorry this because such an explosion of words. ;-) I guess I was feeling a little more rambly than I thought.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Fat Cyclist

I posted a link yesterday to a blog I've just recently found, and one that I check obsessively now. My heart is just broken and I am weeping as I think of this family.

Because I am still new to their story, I will share the few details I know and implore you to reach out- in prayer, in words, whatever you can offer. I simply cannot imagine going through what they are.

Elden is the blog's author, also known as "Fatty" (which he is not, at all). He has been married to Susan for nearly 21 years and they have 4 kids- two teen boys and young twin girls. I cannot even begin to do this amazing family justice with my words (and honestly, tears are pouring down my face as I even try) so I will just share that Susan was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2004. She had a mastectomy and they, rightfully, thought the cancer was behind them. But in 2007 it returned, and spread to other parts of her body.

Now, Susan's body is beginning to shut down (I hate to even write that and I feel like such a jerk) and I my heart hurts at what Elden and their children must be going through.

I am so horrified and heartbroken right now. Cancer just royally, royally sucks.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Because it would hurt to think

I've been so busy/brain dead the past week, so I have been absolutely drained when it comes to updating this blog and actually forming a coherent sentence.

But I wanted to share this blog in hopes that you would visit, pray, and maybe share an encouraging word with this wonderful family. 

Monday, July 13, 2009

Gifts for the McRae family *Edited*

**I just wanted to point out (because of my vagueness in the original post below) that if you are wanting to send something from out of state, I will wait for you! Olivia's birthday is this weekend and it was my goal to get the stuff to her by then, but it is more important to me to send them as much as possible, rather than worry about the exact date they get it. So if you are wanting to send something, go for it! Just let me know so I know how many packages I'm expecting. I would still love to send it as soon as we can, so just be in touch with me. :) Sorry about that!**

Thanks so much to those of you that have contacted me regarding sending out gifts to Olivia & Will McRae! I am hoping to send out the package on Wednesday if at all possible, so if you would still like to get something to me please let me know! I would love to send them as much stuff as possible to just really surprise and bless them! However if you are mailing it to me from out of the state just let me know when you mailed it/will be mailing so I can look for it and plan accordingly.
Thank you soooo much for reaching out to bless this family, and for keeping them in your prayers!! I KNOW they greatly appreciate it and I can't wait to show them all the people that wanted to love on them. :) God bless you!! Don't forget to read their updates at

Friday, July 10, 2009

Mama crack.

Melissa over at The Inspired Room is doing a giveaway right now. Now, a lot of people do giveaways. Sometimes, for things I couldn't care less about. But this one? Crack to this addict.

A purse!

(photo courtesy of The Inspired Room, by the way. I just needed you to see how incredibly adorable they are!!)
I love me some purses. But my husband doesn't understand my desire to own more than one functional one at a time (ie. getting another one before the first is run into the ground), not to mention when we can barely buy the things we need right now, a purse isn't exactly priority.


But you have the chance to win an Elisa Lou Designs Bailey bag if you head over to Melissa's blog and drop in your name! Purses are valued at $60 and contest ends Sunday night. And then, my birthday is September 1st so you can wrap it up and give it to me then.

Half-joking. ;)

Now go.


Thursday, July 9, 2009

Being God's hands

In follow-up to my very vague post yesterday, I wanted to post the email that I sent out to family and friends yesterday. If you would like to participate and help bless the McRae family, please let me know. I found out this morning that Olivia's birthday is around 7/17, so I am hoping to get the package out by 7/15. However I know that if you are sending something cross-country to me, that timeframe may pose a difficulty. So just let me know and we'll work something out. Thanks so much!!

Hi everyone!! I hope you are enjoying your summer and are doing awesome! I must say, we are enjoying every second of our lazy summer and will have a tough time when school starts back up. :)

I wanted to contact you, not for anything benefiting myself, but because God has really laid something on my heart and I wanted to throw it out there and see if anyone wanted to join me. I am so so excited about this and know God is going to do big things!

Several days ago I became aware of a little girl named Kate McRae (thanks to the technology of Twitter) and her family has really touched my heart. She is a 5 year old little girl in Arizona that just last Monday was diagnosed with a serious brain tumor. On Friday, July 3rd, she underwent brain surgery to remove as much of the tumor as possible. The night before her surgery, her parents posted this video on YouTube coveting our prayers and introducing the world to their precious girl (the same age as Tommie, so this especially breaks my heart).

Well, doctors were able to remove about 40-50% of her brain tumor, and she has very slowly been making progress with speaking, eating and just giving her parents a tiny glimpse of the full-of-personality little girl they love so much. As I write this, they are still awaiting a report from the team of radiologists, neurosurgeons, and oncologists (to name a few) to even decide what type of tumor this is, and how to treat it. They have been told it is most definitely a form of aggressive cancer. (I encourage you to check out their website for the full details).

So, as I am totally long-winded and passionate for this family, I will get to the point of my writing you this email. :) Do I ever say anything quickly? ;)

A few days ago Holly, Kate's mom, mentioned that their oldest daughter Olivia had a birthday coming up in a couple weeks. I contacted her because I really wanted to send something to Kate's two siblings (Olivia is turning 7 and Will is 4) for Olivia's birthday. (Of course if you'd like to send something to Kate too, I'm sure it would be such a blessing!)

I read a few days ago, from a little girl that had fought cancer, that the child going through cancer always gets so much attention, but the siblings are going through so much too and it seems like they get overlooked. Now, I know that Kate's brother & sister are being well-loved. But I just thought it would be so cool to let them know that tons of people, all over the country, are thinking of them too, and are praying for them. I can't imagine at that age watching my sister go through so much- it has GOT to be so heartbreaking and confusing for them.

So what do you think? I am willing to ship anything that we can gather to bless the socks off these kids- toys, gift cards, whatever you want to/can spare (new!). I know money is tight (good gracious I won't even go there, but I know!) so if you can spare
anything I know it would be a blessing. Even just a little toy to let them know that they are being thought of. A card? Have your kids draw a picture for them? You know kids- they are ecstatic with the littlest things! ;)

So I will leave it at that. I pray your heart is touched by this sweet family as much as mine is. I plan to mail out whatever I have hopefully within a week or so (though I am waiting to hear the exact date of Olivia's bday) so please let me know if you can do anything! Thank you soooo much for praying about doing this, and for praying for this family!

************* As I was typing this ridiculously long email, Kate's mom put up a new post on their website. Kate's tumor has been diagnosed as Primitive Neuroectodermal Tumor and, thank you God!, it is generally very responsive to chemo and radiation- though the location of Kate's tumor is nowhere near typical of this type. There is a long road ahead of them! Pray pray pray! Thank you again for taking the time to read this, and I so look forward to hearing from you! I look forward to seeing God work through us to bless this family.

"When God's children are in need, be the one to help them out." Romans 12:13 NLT

Love, Melody

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Big things going on!!

I will keep this short and sweet (hehe yeah right) because I think the RockStar I had earlier has sent me into overdrive.

I just sent a big ol' long email out to friends and family but wanted to throw it out here too.

Want to help me bless this family?

Kate's older sister Olivia is turning 7 in a couple weeks. Let's bless the socks off her and their brother Will! Leave me a comment for more info. I am SO excited about this!!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Prayers needed!!

Please watch the video above, and PRAY for this family. Kate is a 5 year old little girl that was diagnosed with a brain tumor this week. This video was posted on Thursday before her surgery yesterday, but I think it is so important to hear the passion and see the emotion in this young couple- and the photos at the end. What a beautiful little girl, so full of life.

Doctors were able to remove approximately 50% of Kate's tumor. She has since been saying "mommy" and for hours had not been moving her right side. But about 1/2 hour ago a friend of the family posted on Twitter that she moved it!! Thank you God!

You can check out the family's website at Drop a note and let them know they have your prayers!

Friday, July 3, 2009

All I got.

I've been in the biggest thinking funk lately (don't say that three times fast- it could get messy). I think after last week's whirlwind to get my house in order for Ikey's birthday party (and no, I still haven't even gone through the pictures of that yet. See above sentence re: funk) I just crashed. In all honesty that's what I always do after big events. I love the rush of the preparation and immerse myself in that. But when it's all over, it's just me left with my thoughts and a big to-do list. For me, nothing is more crummy than a to-do list and no deadline. It'll just never get done.

So the party went great and I'll eventually share photographic evidence of it. We had lots of friends over and I learned the magic key to a stress-free day. Are you ready? Decorating the night before.

I know.


I was so hung up about not being able to afford a helium tank this year, that I pitied myself when I thought of "settling" for regular ol' balloons. Little did I know that hanging up balloons on the wall was going to look way better and give me oh-so much less grief. Big Hunk and I stayed up till 2am the night before the party blowing up balloons (hint #2- use an electric pump!) and tossing them anywhere we could find wall space. I cannot even tell you the relief I felt waking up the next morning, knowing I didn't have to worry about decorating.

Summer is always the time of the Great Birthday Hunt. Next up? Mikey. He'll be 7 on July 28th. Sheesh. I'm sorry, but wasn't I just pregnant with him?? When did he become a mini-person that loses teeth and likes watching sports and teaches his, ahem, mom how to do the scorebook for Daddy's baseball games? (Side note there. Do men do anything efficiently? Because really. A runner getting out at 1st base makes NO sense as a "3U". You're just asking for mistakes.) Seriously. I keep telling these darn kids to stop growing and they always fill my head with empty promises, but they never keep their word. That's got to be in the Bible somewhere.

3 days after Mikey's birthday is my oldest stepson's birthday. He'll be 20. (Enter gasp here. He was 6 when I met him.) But we have found that with his absolute rebellion against every ounce of love we've ever given and practically disowning us, also comes a cheaper July 31st. ;) I call it a silver lining.

And then, about 3 weeks later we have Cracker Jack's 18th birthday. I cannot tell you the joy it brings me that I do not have to look at these young men and say I gave birth to them. Because honestly? I feel old enough most of the time. But no matter how old I get, I will always be too young to be their mother and that makes me giddy. Not that anyone ever doubts that I am their mother anymore. And I'm pretty sure that's not a good thing.

I remember when BH & I had been dating/living in sin a short while and I took the boys (then 7 & 5) to the bank with me. Someone stopped me and asked if I was the babysitter, or something to that effect. I laughed, but secretly wished that I did look old enough to be their mom. Because I wanted nothing more.

But now vanity has taken over and I am totally fine looking like the step-mom. Not that I do. Olay, why have you failed me?

Although it is totally unfair that at 31 30 in my late-twenties, I am fighting acne the same time my teenage stepson is. There is just something wrong about that. Now, give me the teenage body to go along with the breakouts and I'll call it even.